Zeiss Conquest MC 2.5-8x32mm Riflescope

By Chuck Hawks and the Guns and Shooting Online staff

Zeiss Conquest MC 2.5-8x32mm
Conquest 2.5-8x32 top view.
Illustration courtesy of Carl Zeiss, Inc.

The famous Carl Zeiss optical company was founded in Germany in 1846, and by 1852 they were already developing riflescopes. In 1922 they introduced the variable power riflescope to North America. The latest Carl Zeiss riflescope products are the Conquest scopes. The Conquest line is the Zeiss entry into the North American four-star riflescope market, intended to compete with such popular favorites as the Leupold VX-II series and the Weaver Grand Slam line.

Zeiss Conquest riflescopes are assembled in the U.S.A. from arsenic/lead free glass elements made in Germany and 1" diameter, one-piece aluminum alloy tubes with a durable anodized finish. The optics are fully multi-coated and the scopes are nitrogen filled, watertight and pressure tested. They are guaranteed to be waterproof and dust proof, even with the plastic windage and elevation screw caps removed. Zeiss "square reticle adjustment" insures that the windage and elevation adjustments do not interact.

The Zeiss multi-coatings reflect amber, green, magenta, and purple in a most attractive manner. Other features of Conquest scopes include a self-centered 2nd image plain reticle, reset-able 1/4 MOA fingertip click adjustments, European fast eyepiece focusing, wide field of view and a wide adjustment range. Eye relief ranges from 3.5" to 4", depending on specific model. Lens caps are included. For U.S. customers there is a limited lifetime, transferable warranty.

Conquest riflescopes without manual parallax focus (AO) are adjusted to be parallax free at 100 yards. The magnification of variable power models is changed by turning a wide, knurled zoom ring at the front end of the large ocular bell. There is a tactile bump on the zoom ring in the middle of its adjustment range. Focus is adjusted in the European fashion using a large, rubber covered ring at the rear of the eyepiece.

The ocular bell of most Conquest scopes is unusually bulky due to the comparatively large size of the ocular lenses and the focusing ring. For example, the outside diameter of the ocular bell of the popular Conquest 2.5-8x32mm scope is 41mm and the length of the ocular bell is about 90mm.

The mounting latitude of Conquest scopes is good, as there is ample space for mounting rings both fore and aft of the windage and elevation adjustment turret. This means that Conquest scopes can be mounted on most hunting rifles without resorting to extension bases or rings.

The standard reticle for most Conquest scopes is a Duplex type, but of the 8 standard Zeiss reticles, 3 to 5 are available for each Conquest model, depending on the individual scope's intended application.

Here is the Zeiss Conquest scope line for 2008:

  • Conquest 4x32mm fixed power
  • Conquest 1.8-5.5x38mm variable
  • Conquest 2.5-8x32mm variable
  • Conquest 3-9x40mm variable
  • Conquest 3-9x50mm variable
  • Conquest 3.5-10x44mm variable
  • Conquest 3.5-10x50mm variable
  • Conquest 3-12x56mm variable
  • Conquest 4.5-14x44mm AO variable
  • Conquest 4.5-14x50mm variable
  • Conquest 6.5-20x50mm AO variable

The standard finish of Conquest scopes is matte black with a blue Zeiss pennant logo on the adjustment turret. "Conquest" is printed in white letters on both sides of the ocular bell. In equally large white letters on the top surface of the ocular bell is written "Carl Zeiss" and the the model of the riflescope ("2.5-8x32 MC," or whatever). The notation "Assembled in USA" appears below that in smaller letters. There are also legible white numbers indicating magnification setting around the zoom ring and an index dot so that you can tell where the scope is set. Just in front of the knurled and rubberized eyepiece focus ring is a "+ 0 -" to indicate the direction of rotation to increase or decrease the diopter correction. None of these markings appear to be engraved or stamped into the metal; the numbers and letters are just silk screened onto the ocular bell.

There are rather unusual markings on the windage and elevation fingertip adjustment knobs. Both knobs are exactly identical, and both are marked with "U/R" and an arrow indicating clockwise rotation. "U" means "up" and "R" means "right," but it is unusual and redundant to see both on a both adjustment knobs.

The adjustment knobs can be lifted and then turned to re-center them after the rifle has been sighted-in. These knobs are easy to grasp, tight, and click in precise fashion. They have an excellent tactile "feel" and were quite accurate in out test scope.

The view through a Zeiss Conquest riflescope is sharp and clear and optical aberrations are will controlled. Flare suppression is generally very good. The zoom ring turns with just about the right amount of resistance, enough to prevent inadvertent change and yet easy to manipulate even with gloved hands.

The Zeiss Conquest line is not inexpensive, but they are not outrageous, either. Zeiss Conquest scopes are a worthy entry in the competitive four-star class, and they definitely deserve consideration.

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